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Pashat, Drash, Remez and Sod (1 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 3 of 10
If you're a computer and you shut your system off to any outside input, the computer becomes irrelevant. Do you realise that this is true all the way through the Bible, that for the Bible to even have been formed like it is, it required men of God to be humble with what they thought they knew? Do you realise that the revelation of God progressively got more gracious?

Before Leviticus was written how did you please God? How could you please God before Leviticus was written, how did they do it? They guessed! They didn't know - they guessed.

Here's what they knew: that gods required sacrifices, and gods required self-mutilation. If you want an incredible read on this you could read “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong. An Orthodox rabbi gave it to me to read on a plane, so I would quit talking to him, because he wanted to sleep. A History of God - and I devoured it. It's a historical treatise of what they believed about gods, and things like this.

Here's what they all believed about gods: gods were far away, and they lived where? Up in the sky, somewhere up; so if you're going to please a god or a goddess, who lives somewhere in the sky, how do you do that?

Two things: you offer sacrifices. How much sacrifice? You didn't know, you had to guess. So you would offer a sacrifice. If it worked, you thought: well I got that one right. If it didn't work, then you had to do what? Offer more, it obviously wasn't enough. So you were constantly escalating your sacrifices, and there were a lot of cultures who escalated their sacrifices to the point where they were sacrificing their children.

So what would you do? You would kill the sacrifice. Where would you kill the sacrifice? You would take it to the highest place you could find. They were called the “High Places”. Why? Where did god live? Up; so you wanted to get as close to god as you possibly could, and you did that by going up. When you killed the sacrifice, what did you do with it? You burned it. Why? Because when you burn something, where does the smoke go? Up; so they did this over and over, and the escalation was unbelievable - the stuff they did to please the gods and the goddesses.

They wanted sacrifices and self-mutilation. You see this with the prophets of Baal. What did they do to get god's attention? Cut their arms! You see this in the radical Catholic church a long time ago. Some of the monks, they would do what? They would flog themselves. That was no different than the ancient gods and goddesses. Sacrifice and self-mutilation.

There's this one story, there was this goddess named Kibela; and she morphed later into a goddess named Diana, who later morphed into a goddess named Artemis. Their headquarters was in Ephesus, but the following was all over the place. Kibela, Diana, Artemis, they were all the same goddess. They were very sexual in nature. She had six sets of breasts, and just very, very provocative and sexual.

The teachings of the goddess Kibela was that you can find the most enlightenment, by how many different ways you can express your sexuality. So the temples to the goddess Artemis, Diana and Kibela had temple prostitutes, that you would buy and take them in. You would explore your sexuality in order to worship the goddess Kibela.

Now originally Kibela was the goddess who was in charge of hunting, so she was in charge of making sure that men when they went out to hunt could find food. She was also in charge of the protection of small animals, which was a bit of a conflict of interest! Now there was this recorded famine - a three and a half year famine, in an island called Sardis. Well what they did is, they called a meeting, and all the men of Sardis got together, and they said: obviously we have done something to offend the goddess Kibela. There are 5,000 men there, so they asked: what should 5,000 men do, to show Kibela that we are submitted to her, and are willing to do her will? What do 5,000 men do towards a woman, to show that they are committed to her?